LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Evil resides amongst us!

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Evil resides amongst us!

Dear Editor,

Today, I pen this letter with a heavy heart and a troubled soul. Here I am again addressing a disturbing, yet common problem in this country, rape culture.

For too long now, many cries have fallen on deaf ears and are largely ignored in this country. Simply put, too many failed policies and broken promises.

How many children must be raped in this country before we get rid of these monsters? How many victims’ lives must be destroyed before we address this issue once and for all?

The time has come for less talk and more action in tackling this rape culture. We can no longer sit idly by while these monsters prey on our children.

What is rape culture?

Rape culture isn’t solely about offensive chants and objectifying females; but it involves a culture where social attitudes and institutional systems treat sexual violence as trivial, normal, or even expected. It serves to excuse the actions of perpetrators and blames victims at the same time.

And rape culture doesn’t only exist in individuals but also exists in the larger systems and structures in our society. Key contributing factors are lax legal systems, gender inequality, common values and beliefs, and a lack of prevention training and education. Rape culture is a multifaceted issue in The Bahamas.

Importantly, just because a person is not a rapist doesn’t mean that person doesn’t contribute to rape culture.

We all have a responsibility when it comes to combating and (hopefully dismantling) rape culture in this country.

First, we must closely examine our statements, and make sure our own words and actions are not contributing to the normalization of sexual violence.

Second, victim-blaming attitudes further marginalize the victim/survivor and make it harder to come forward and report the abuse.

Third, it is our moral responsibility as adults to protect children.

Fourth, we must hold those persons who are doing harm accountable.

In the end, “rape is not just a physically violent act perpetrated against one victim, it is an assault on humanity,”- Emma Watson

Written by: Shervonne Cash-Hollis, Co-Founder, Save Our Children Alliance/Child Advocate